What is seborrheic dermatitis?

Updated: Nov 13, 2020
  • Author: Marc Zachary Handler, MD; Chief Editor: William D James, MD  more...
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Answer

Seborrheic dermatitis is a papulosquamous disorder patterned on the sebum-rich areas of the scalp, face, and trunk. When localized to the scalp, it is commonly referred to as dandruff. In addition to sebum, this dermatitis is linked to Malassezia, [1] immunologic abnormalities, and activation of complement. It is commonly aggravated by changes in humidity, changes in seasons, trauma (eg, scratching), or emotional stress. The severity varies from mild dandruff to exfoliative erythroderma. Seborrheic dermatitis may worsen in Parkinson disease and in AIDS. [21, 22]  Increased perspiration in Parkinson disease may be the link to seborrheic dermatitis.


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